SYRACUSE, NY – The Syracuse Crunch started 2014 on the right foot by defeating the Toronto Marlies 6-3 tonight at Ricoh Coliseum.
Brett Connolly recorded three points (1g, 2a), Vladislav Namestnikov scored twice and seven other players contributed to the score sheet as the Crunch advanced to 14-14-1-3 on the season and improved to 9-7-1-1 on the road.
Kristers Gudlevskis made 32 saves for his seventh win of the season while his Marlies counterpart Drew MacIntyre stopped 31 of 37 shots faced in defeat.
The Crunch were forced to rally from a 2-0 deficit thanks to a shorthanded goal from Carter Ashton in the first period and an Andrew Crescenzi tally early in the second.
Namestnikov scored his first of the game six minutes into the middle stanza to cut the Marlie’s lead in half. The Crunch and Marlies entered the second intermission knotted at two after Dana Tyrell redirected a Labrie shot from the far circle with five seconds remaining in the second period.
The Crunch’s momentum carried into the final frame where they exploded for three goals in the first seven minutes. Three minutes in Tyrell forced a turnover in the Crunch offensive zone and fed the puck to Paquette who beat MacIntyre with a low shot for Syracuse’s first lead of the game.
Connolly capitalized on a two-on-one break with Namestnikov for an unassisted score 5:43 into the third before Labrie made it 5-2 at the 6:39 mark. Labrie’s goal prompted a Toronto timeout, which the Marlies took advantage of when Mike Duco scored on their first possession out of the break to cut the Crunch lead to 5-3 at the 6:49 mark of the final frame.
Namestnikov capped the Crunch scoring with a power-play goal at the 9:46 mark of the period. Matt Taormina and Brett Connolly assisted.
The Crunch will continue a season-high five game road trip when they visit the Binghamton Senators on Jan. 4.
CRUNCHABLES: With three points tonight Brett Connolly extended his point streak to six consecutive games…During that span Connolly has posted 10 points (4g, 6a) …The last time the Crunch scored four goals in a period was Oct. 26 during a 5-0 win over the Bridgeport SoundTigers …It is the first time this season the Crunch have scored six goals…Tonight was Tyrell’s first multi-point game since the season opener in Binghamton on Oct. 5…Five Syracuse Crunch players recorded a multi-point game today (Cedric Paquette, Pierre-Cedric Labrie, Connolly, Tyrell and Namestnikov).